Houston just recently finished a nearly two-year long fight over a transgender ordinance that “gay” activists said was essential, and the same fight now is erupting in Dallas.
At both locations advocates for the protections that would allow transgenders in the public facility restrooms and locker rooms of their choice say that really has little or nothing to do with the need for an ordinance.
And besides, they contend, nothing ill would happen of letting males who identify as female into a locker room with women and young girls.
But a new campaign in Massachusetts may be revealing more than was intended.
Because transgenders there already are protected in just about every situation – with the only exception being they are not allowed into public facility restrooms and locker rooms of something other than their physical gender.
So they are demanding it, in a proposed law that is coming before state officials.
In a statement released by the Massachusetts Family Institute, traditional family advocates straightened out some statements released earlier by Attorney General Maura Healey, a strong advocate of protections for transgenders.
Healey claimed the state does not, in fact, “adequately protect transgender people from discrimination in places of public accommodation.”
The statement came on behalf of HB 1577, which “specifically eliminates protections for women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms,” the institute reported.
But attorney Andrew Beckwith, president of Massachusetts Family Institute, said that’s not quite the situation in the state.
His new memo to lawmakers said the state’s Commission Against Discrimination already protects transgenders in almost every way.
“As early as 2001, a ruling of the full commission declared, ‘We … hold that ‘sex’ discrimination, as prohibited by chapter 151B, includes a prohibition against discrimination against transsexual individuals,'” he explained.
With the only exception being for bathrooms and locker rooms.
“What is it then, that advocates of HB 1577 see as inadequate in MCAD’s application of existing law? In a word, bathrooms. MCAD, taking its cues from the Supreme Judicial Court and the MA Legislature has liberally construed the existing nondiscrimination laws regarding sex to include gender identity and transgenderism. However, the Commonwealth’s public accommodation laws include a specific exemption for claims of discrimination based on sex when bathrooms and single-sex fitness facilities are involved.”
Beckwith continued, “Therefore, even though MCAD has consistently ruled that gender identity is covered by the term ‘sex’ in existing nondiscrimination laws, the proponents of HB 1577 do not view this as ‘adequate protection’ because they still have not gained access to cross-gender bathroom uses.”
He said the homosexual activists in the state, currently, are prohibited by law from extending their “gender identity” nondiscrimination to bathrooms, and that’s something they find intolerable.
His memo to lawmakers noted the bill specifically amends those exemptions, eliminating them for the “purposes of gender identity claims.”
“The only practical impact of HB 1577 would be to grant MCAD the ability to penalize businesses and individuals who object to cross-gendered bathroom or locker room use. If the AG truly believes that this bill is necessary to address discrimination claims, she needs to prove her case by citing a single instance where MCAD has been unable to adjudicate a transgender public accommodations claim for lack of a legal basis. To my knowledge, she has yet to do so,” he said.
WND had reported only a day earlier how a coalition of pastors from Houston who defeated lesbian Mayor Annise Parker’s transgender-rights ordinance – a fight that included her subpoenas of sermons – were volunteering to help pastors in Dallas oppose a similar measure.
“We will work with Dallas pastors to determine how to appropriately respond to the wholesale catering by city council to the radical, anti-faith, anti-family agenda of the LGBT Human Rights Campaign,” said Rev. Dave Welch, president of the Texas Pastor Council.
Welch said Dallas’ change to its existing nondiscrimination ordinance “not only opens but essentially removes the doors of women’s restrooms, showers and locker rooms in Dallas, as well as criminalizes businesses, employees as well as eventually, churches who attempt to keep men out.”
WND has reported extensively on the Houston fight, which took nearly two years. It ended last week when citizens, by order of the state Supreme Court, were allowed to vote on the measure and soundly rejected it, 62 percent to 38 percent.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance would have banned discrimination against transgender people, allowing, for example, men who perceive themselves to be women to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms and other gender-specific facilities in the city. Anyone opposing or obstructing them could have been fined $5,000.
The Texas Pastor Council’s Welch condemned the change in the Dallas ordinance as an attack on society’s foundation.
“There are many issues that our city governments should be focused on to improve the city, and this ordinance patently rejects cornerstones of our civilization that family is built upon the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, that our sex is embedded in our chromosomes, and this beautiful created order is a gift from God.”
Welch added, “A bad tree cannot produce good fruit and a law based on elevating gender confusion to being a protected class equal with race can only produce harm, not good.”
The Dallas law protecting “gender identity and expression” says the places of public accommodation that must grant a man who defines his gender as female full access to women’s facilities are any inn, hotel, temporary lodging, restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, soda facility, motion picture house, theater, concert hall, and retail or wholesale establishment selling goods or services.
The measure, Welch said, is a “bottomless Pandora’s Box.”
“Definition A plus Definition B equals exposing girls and women to violation of their privacy as well as their safety,” he said.
He said city officials in Dallas should have paid attention to the Houston vote and learned that pastors and citizens will react negatively to such a social agenda.
“As our very ethnically diverse coalition of pastors in Houston stated and showed for the last eighteen months, every one of us are for equal rights for all, however we cannot allow special rights for a tiny fraction of society to endanger the safety and freedom for the rest,” he said.
Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer wrote that Dallas didn’t pass an ordinance but “adjusted the language of an ordinance that’s existed since 2002 in a way that made very little change to how anyone in the city is treated.”
He said in Houston, voters denied “protection” to their fellow residents.
Young said the Dallas ordinance “doesn’t even have the word restroom in it, and the failed Houston law only allowed opposite-gender restroom use in a fantasy world in which trans people don’t exist.”
At the Advocate, Dawn Ennis explained that while “sexual orientation” has been a protected class for years, “gender identity” was a class left unprotected.
The strategy in Houston was to move the ordinance through the city council quickly. City officials then tried to invalidate a petition demanding a public vote.
After a months-long court fight, the state Supreme Court stepped in and ordered the city to repeal the ordinance or put it on the election ballot in compliance with the city charter.
Some of the pastors who were targeted by the mayor’s subpoena have filed a lawsuit charging her with violating their rights.